CDO Holiday Ham Minestrone Soup


Pancetta Mixture:
1 CDO Holiday Ham, chopped  
3 medium red onions, chopped   
4 celery stalks, chopped   
2 medium carrots, chopped   
⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil  
Other ingredients:
1 bunch spinach   
6 garlic cloves, finely chopped   
salt and pepper to taste
2 tsp. tomato paste   
1 can whole tomatoes with juice   
3 quarts chicken stock   
2 cups cabbage, cored and coarsely chopped   
1 (19-ounce) can cannellini beans*, rinsed and drained   
2 cups elbow macaroni   
½ cup grated parmesan cheese   
extra virgin olive oil for garnishing
parsley for garnishing


1. To make pancetta mixture: Mix CDO Holiday Ham, onions, celery, and carrots in olive oil in a wide 7-to 9-quart heavy pot and cook over medium heat. 
2. Add spinach into mixture with garlic, salt, pepper and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are very tender and begins to stick to the bottom of the pot, about 45 minutes total.  
3. Push vegetables to one side of the pot. Add tomato paste to cleared area and cook, stirring constantly, for about 2 minutes, until it starts to caramelize. Stir paste with the vegetables and cook, stirring for about 2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes with their juice, and break them up with a spoon, add stock scraping up any brown bits from bottom of pot. 
4. Bring to a simmer. Stir in cabbage, beans and macaroni. Continue simmering, covered, until greens are tender.  
5. Garnish with parmesan cheese, extra virgin olive oil and parsley.    

*Substitute for cannellini beans: white kidney beans, soaked in water overnight.